Showing posts from June, 2014

Old Post in the Sand at Belhaven

I know I have said this before on this blog but sometimes the most mundane of objects can make a great photographic subject.  

This post is one of several that line the beach at Belhaven Bay and over the years has become weathered and worn.  

I find these sorts of objects fascinating and worthy of a few frames, especially if they provide a focal point in the larger landscape.  With the broken clouds above the beach and the retreating tide leaving plenty of standing water which acted like a mirror, I set about capturing a set of images using the post as the focal point.  These three are my favourites from the set. 

Images taken on aFujifilm X-T1 + Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS

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Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

One of the most famous buildings on the River Thames is the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, the twin domes and impressive buildings right on the bank of the Thames in East London.

The college began life as the Royal Hospital for Seaman with Sir Christopher Wren planning new building that was on the site of a former Tudor Palace.  The first foundation stone was laid on the 30th June 1696 with the first pensioners arriving in 1706.  

By 1814 over 2700 lived at the Royal Hospital but with the end of the Napoleonic War numbers declined and the Hospital was closed in 1869 and Greenwich became home to the Royal Naval College, which remained on the site until 1998.

CLICK HERE for the history of the Old Royal Naval College.

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TEST: Manfrotto 241V Suction Grip with the Fujifilm X-T1

This was a short test around Dunbar and Belhaven of the Manfrotto 241V Suction Grip with the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS attached.  
I used a variety of roads and lanes with potholes and traffic calming humps to see how much shake would be introduced in the finished video and I have to say the 241V clamp does an excellent job despite the fact I forgot to attach the bracing strut that was supplied and would've provided even more support - black mark for me!  

Here is the video of the test -

This also gave me another opportunity to use the WiFi abilities of the X-T1.  I connected the X-T1 to my Google Nexus 7 tablet so I was able to control the camera from the driver's seat, especially when the camera was attached to the outside of the car taking the wheel shots.

The Manfrotto 241V was purchased for a car test I am doing next week.  I'm taking a Porsche 911 Turbo S from Porsche's UK headquarters in Reading to the home of the brand at Stuttgart in Germany for …

Wild Flowers at Belhaven

After we returned from England on Thursday evening we went for a walk down to Belhaven Bay to walk on the beach to clear away the cobwebs from the 6 hour drive back to Scotland.

We took our usual route down Back Road past Winterfield Golf Course and as we reached the bottom of the hill we were greeted by this spectacular display of wild flowers next to the road.  

Using the Fujifilm X-T1 with the 10-24mm or 55-200mm Fujinon zooms I captured these images of the colourful display.

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Fujifilm X-T1: Firmware Update V1.10 - Thank you for Listening

One of the reasons I like about using Fujifilm cameras is the fact that the Japanese company care about, and seem to listen to, their customers.  

On the 17th June I wrote a BLOG about my first two months, and 10,000 frames, with the X-T1.  One of my dislikes was the positioning and the operation of the video button, which was too easily pressed by accident, locking up the camera while it switched to video mode. I know I am not alone in this and it was great to see that yesterday Fujifilm announced Firmware update V1.10 for the X-T1, which included a fix for this problem. 

Instead of the video function starting immediately the button is pressed, there is now a delay where the photographer has to keep pressing the button.  It means that I am less likely to operate the video function by accident from now on and for me this is a good solution.  

My only concern is that to end a video recording there is also a slight delay as the button needs to be pressed for longer.  A minor concern and so…

More Street Photography with Damien Demolder

On Saturday afternoon I spent 90-minutes in Soho Square with a group of photographers under the guidance of Damien Demolder to learn some new tricks in the art of Street Photography using the Fujifilm X-T1.  The old adage that you are never too old to learn is very true and this was 1.5 hours well spent.

I post three of the best shots at the end of the day on the blog HERE.  

Since returning from London I have sorted through the images and worked on four more images to post here.

Images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 and a Fujinon XF56mm f1.2R or Fujinon XF55-200mm f3.5/4.8R OIS

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The Cutty Sark

On Sunday, after visiting Canary Wharf, we took the Dockland's Light Railway down to Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark, the last of the world famous 'Tea Clippers' that used to be the fastest trading ships before the advent of steam power in the 19th century.

The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 in Scotland for the Jock Willis Shipping Line and worked as a cargo ship until 1922 when she was saved from the scrapyard by Captain Wilfred Dowman, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth. After his death in 1938 the ship became a training vessel for the Thames Nautical Training College before being put on permanent display in Greenwich in 1954.

The Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007 while undergoing conservation. The vessel has since been restored and reopened to the public on 25 April 2012.

We visited the Cutty Sark last Sunday during a quick visit to Greenwich before heading to the station to catch the train home to Dunbar.

CLICK HERE to visit the Royal M…

A tribute to my Nan

Today is a sad day for my family as we lay my 97-year-old Nan to rest.  

While I trace my MacLean heritage back to my Dad's father, Samuel Carter - who hailed from Greenock and whose Grandparents came from Islay and Jura - my love of Scotland comes from my Mother's side of my family when my Nan and Grandad took me on a camping trip to the Highlands when I was 8 year's old.  We travelled for two weeks, visiting Fort William, Pitlochry and Calendar and I still have many happy memories of that holiday 42 years later.  

My Nan was a major influence on my life, she was always there for me and I thank her for all the chances she gave to me.  She may be gone but I won't be sad because she has left me with lots of very happy memories.  

Today's picture is a tribute to my Nan.  Taken in 2012, looking back from Mull towards the Lismore Lighthouse in the Sound of Mull, Ben Nevis and the snow covered Scottish mountains in the background.  She always loved dramatic Scottish landsc…

Looking Up in Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf in London is a major business district and it is home to the world or European headquarters of numerous major banks, professional services firms and media organisations.  The buildings are among the tallest in the UK, including the second tallest - One Canada Square.

The modern architecture of glass and steel reflected in the bright summer sun and blue skies was very photogenic.  I decided to use the Fuji X-T1 and Fujinon 10-24mm fitted with a polariser to enhance the blue sky and cut down on reflections from the glass. 

Pointing the lens upwards creates converging verticals as the tops of the building bend in towards the centre of the frame, enhancing the sense of height of the skyscrapers.

I also used the Fujinon 55-200mm to pick out details of the buildings through the gaps and also the tops of the buildings.

All images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 and a Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS or a Fujinon XF55-200mm f3.5/4.8R OIS

London Protest March Against Austerity Measures

On Saturday afternoon I went along to Oxford Circus to watch an estimated 50,000 people, from all walks of life, march down Regent Street to Parliament Square to protest against the UK government's austerity measures. 

I decided to take some shots of the people marching and their banners displayed a number of different messages and grievances, some I agreed with and some I didn't.  As a former newspaper photographer I wanted to see if I could capture some of the feeling of the march and the emotions that were being displayed using the Fujifilm X-T1 and either the 18mm f2 or 35mm f1.4 prime lenses.

I shot the images in RAW and also in JPEG using a mono film simulation with a high contrast red filter.  This gave me the best of both worlds because the RAW files retain the colour information in case I decide I need these image in colour at a later date.  However for this blog the images were left as mono in the final edit to give them a more reportage feeling.

HERE is a link to the G…